Beto O'Rourke announced he is running for president yesterday, using a Vanity Fair cover story to do so …
I would argue the forum was an unfortunate choice, since so many have leapt on how stupid he's being to run for POTUS instead of a much-likelier-to-succeed second Senate run in Texas, but I think he is a credible and serious and most of all passionate candidate — all positives for this race. From VF:
Beto O’Rourke seems, in this moment, like a cliff diver trying to psych himself into the jump. And after playing coy all afternoon about whether he’ll run, he finally can’t deny the pull of his own gifts. “You can probably tell that I want to run,” he finally confides, smiling. “I do. I think I’d be good at it.”
“This is the fight of our lives,” he continues, “not the fight-of-my-political-life kind of crap.
But, like, this is the fight of our lives as Americans, and as humans, I’d argue.”
The more he talks, the more he likes the sound of what he’s saying. “I want to be in it,” he says, now leaning forward. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”
I like that he is this invested. It is not a political calculation, it is a drive. Yes, I know he has voted with Republicans, and yes, I know some say he is too centrist. The dumbest responses have been that he lost to Ted Cruz — yeah, barely, and in Texas. Does that really need explaining? The fact of the matter is, people likey to vote Democratic are right now attracted to both very progressive (Sanders) and quite centrist (Biden, who has yet to announce) candidates. O'Rourke could be a good compromise, in that he is centrist, but feels more progressive due to his youth — and may actually be more progressive once outside the confines of his state. Hell, he could pull Texas into the blue column, too.
Don't count him out.